Tonawanda News — Four candidates will seek two open seats on the North Tonawanda school board this month, district officials announced Wednesday.
Residents Ann Finkle, Barbara McCarthy, John Zloty and Cheryl McMahon, submitted the required 100 petitions in time to qualify for the ballot. All would be board newcomers.
Donna Braun left her seat vacant last year to join the North Tonawanda Common Council, while past board president Frank DiBernardo will not seek re-election after two three-year terms on the board, leaving the field open to the new faces.
John Tylec, the district’s director of personnel, said the two top voter-getters will win the open at-large seats, with the candidate who takes the most votes starting their term the day after the election, May 21, to finish off Braun’s remaining term. The candidate with the second most votes will begin their three-year term on July 1.
Three of the candidates have experience in education, according to biographies filed with the district. McCarthy, who is employed by Niagara County Social Services, has resided in North Tonawanda for 25 year and has four children, one of whom is currently attending school in the district.
Zloty, who retired from teaching in Cheektowaga after 39 years, has a background in social studies and counseling, and is married with three adult daughters.
McMahon has a bachelor’s degree in human services and a master’s degree in community school health. She and her husband have six children, most of whom are believed to have attended school in the district, officials said. McMahon is currently employed as a client service coordinator.
Finkle is widely known for her devotion to the inner-workings of the North Tonawanda City Council and Board of Education, where she often speaks during public forums. Finkle was a kindergarten teacher in the district before retiring in 2001, while all of her children and grandchildren have gone through the school system in the Lumber City.
Tylec, the district administrator, said the board will hold a brief forum for the candidates to speak at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, following a budget hearing at the Alumni Student Activity Center.
“In the past we’ve given them four or five minutes each to speak to whoever is present,” Tylec said. “They’ve all been invited to attend.”